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Staunch Protestants and devout Catholics

Protestants are individualists who ultimately hold that the Christian authority that existed before—the Catholic Church—has become corrupt and needs to be resisted. The antidote to Rome’s corruption is an individual man with his conscience, reason, and his Bible—and this individualist is counterposed to a Church functionary who orders you to do things that are anti-Christian, not even in the Bible, “just because” Rome tells you to. As such, you are an individual who is staunch against the system—you are faced with corrupt priests, iniquitous cardinals, and debauched princes who will wheedle you, torture you, and bribe you to give up the Bible.

Protestants are literally staunch because the very word derives from “to stand firm” and Martin Luther famously said, as an apologia for his actions and beliefs, “Here I stand, I can do no other.” So the first Protestant was literally staunch, he took his stand—against Rome; and you see a similar sensibility in cowboy ballads influenced by Texan evangelism, “I’m takin’ my stand, got no choice but to…etc, etc.”

“Well, I’m just a man a way-farin’ through the land, take my stand with my girl Sue—the sheriff, they say he guns for you…But I take my stand.”

Catholics, by contrast, are devout—devoted, to Rome. So they submit to and reverence authority without question. This can either be seen as “superstitious Irish peasants, held in economic squalor by the backward beliefs promulgated by their priests”—if you are a staunch Protestant who holds the Church is the Whore of Babylon—or, if you are a Catholic, the same Irish peasants represent the simple naïve faith of those who put their trust in Our Lady and, being as lambs, will be rewarded (sure and begorrah, to be sure to be sure). One man’s “superstitious backward peasants” are another man’s “devout and guileless men, rich in native folk-wisdom”.

As with all such “revolutionary” movements, Protestantism contains a double aspect: in one moment, it destroys authority and is radically egalitarian—hence it gives rise to the Anabaptists, primitive communists; in another moment, it gives rise to men like the Reverend Ian Paisley (hammer of God, esquire) who exercise more authority, within a limited sphere, than the bureaucratic Church of Rome. Similarly, the Catholic Church is both more authoritarian than Protestantism—as when it breaks out the Inquisition or the Pope speaks ex cathedra—and less authoritarian, since large bureaucracies always have oversights and become more liberal in what they allow (not so when Paisley—effectively a pope, though he would never put it that way—is right there to check your dirty mitts himself).

“I heard you missed church last Sunday…and I just wanted a word about that.”

Protestantism is both a release back to a sparser, more rational, more individualistic, less sensuous, and less “oriental” religion more suited to Nordic people (who never really took to southern Christianity, it being only a few hundred years post-paganism before they started to pick it apart) and simultaneously a move back towards a more authoritarian, less symbolic (i.e. more atheistic), and, in some ways, more Jewish religion (since Protestantism rejects what is Roman in Christianity, so leading Protestants to identify as Zion—with the Jews or as “the new Jews”). Hence Protestantism is both more Nordic and less exoterically pagan—since Protestants largely reject the saints venerated by Catholics (really just the old city gods given a Christian veneer).

Protestantism can be more anti-Jewish than Catholicism, since the Protestants claim to be “the new Zion”—they are the new Chosen, filled with tangible fanatical enthusiasm, so hard luck for people who persist in their claim to be “the Chosen”; yet Protestantism can also be more pro-Jewish, since it can see a one-to-one kinship with the people of the Book, undistorted by bureaucratic impositions found in Catholicism. The reverse process works in Catholicism: the Catholic bureaucracy can be more lenient towards the Jews, in the old spirit of Roman toleration towards all cults, because Catholicism is old and without youthful fanaticism; yet, if the bureaucracy cranks into action, it can be more institutionally opposed to the Jews, as with the Inquisition, and sees a greater separatism between Jews and Christians (really, between Jews and Romans).

My view is that Protestantism is a dialectical recovery back to pre-Christian beliefs, but the dialectical recovery involves two moments whereby the religion simultaneously becomes less pagan in its total stand against symbolism (idolatry, in their view) and more pagan in its Nordic rationalism and asperity—Protestants are both practically atheist and very close to a total return to genuine religiosity.

Well, what about the man who made this tweet? What denomination do you think he belongs to? And why did he make this tweet, since, although he might not elaborate it in the way I have done here, he knows why the words have different associations really? What was his social motivation?


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